Everton will do very, very well if they land Portugal’s William Carvalho for anything like the £16.7m fee Toffees moneymen are reportedly offering Sporting, with twice that figure looking reasonable for a holding-midfielder of the 24-year-old’s quality in the current financial climate.
Chelsea paid as much for N’Golo Kante, and Carvalho could justifiably claim to be in the same ball park, at under a year younger, with a European Championship winners’ medal and a Taca de Portugal with Sporting to the majestic Leicester anchorman’s sole trinket, the Premier League title.
Indeed, the champions and Southampton, who have lost Victor Wanyama to Tottenham, were thought to be making the early running for Carvalho’s signature this summer, after interest from long-term suitors Manchester United and Arsenal seemingly cooled, but the papers say Everton are favourites.
This can’t be good news for Merseyside midfield incumbent Gareth Barry, who broke the record for most Premier League starts last season, his 19th consecutive term in the English top flight.
New boss Ronald Koeman will have to take a long look at Barry’s midfield partner James McCarthy, who didn’t enjoy the greatest of campaigns in 2015/16, but has been regularly linked with the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal, while the jury is still out on 23-year-old Muhamed Besic.
The 53-cap England international appears much more vulnerable considering 31-year-old Steven Davis was the ‘granddad’ of Koeman’s Saints midfield, with the younger legs of Wanyama, Oriol Romeu and Jordy Clasie covering Barry’s fellow former Aston Villa stalwart.
Should his stay at Goodison Park come to close, there’d surely be a que of Premier League clubs lining up for a player who made 32 starts in the top flight last term for a team that, although poor by their standards, still finished up the 11th best outfit in the country.
Of course, the Hastings boy could also go back to Brighton…